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Arien Mack Editor’s Introduction “ TIME GOES BY,” AND HERE WE ARE IN OUR SEVENTIETH YEAR— BETTER, we think, than ever. Our quarterly issues, which for many years have been largely thematic, continue to address serious concerns in the life of the mind and the state of the world in which we live. Since 1987 some of these issues have followed from the large public conferences we organize, which are designed to examine contested and urgent social concerns. By bringing together experts from many fields within the academy and beyond, we not only have succeeded in nurturing a dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, and between the academy and the worlds of policy and government, but we have often managed to deepen the understanding of these contested issues by placing them within their larger historical contexts. Our series of conference issues began with In Time ofPlague, which examined our responses to the AIDS epidemic in light of the history of responses to other lethal, epidemic diseases over time. We are now in the process ofmounting the thirteenth and fourteenth conferences in this series. TheirAmerica: TheU.S. in theEyes oftheRest ofthe World, will take place on October 18 and 19, 2004, at the New School, and will bring together speakers from across the globe to exchange their views on this topic. This conference was motivated by the sharp increase in anti-American senti­ ment around the world in the aftermath of 9/11 and the U.S. actions it evoked. Our fourteenth conference, scheduled for April 2005, is entitled Fairness—a concept that has its roots in our animal ancestry and has been a prime concern of individuals, groups, and nations, motivating political and social movements throughout history. At the Fairness conference we will examine the accelerating economic, psychological, and neuroscien­ social research Vol 71 : No 3 : Fall 2004 v tific research on fairness, the role of fairness in major social and politi­ cal events, how our understanding of what fairness means changes in various contexts, and how these changes are reflected in our laws and in our institutions. We will also discuss current instances in which issues of social justice are deeply enmeshed with issues of fairness. In between our first and forthcoming conferences, we have held conferences on as diverse a range o f subjects as Home: A Place in the World, which explored the important role of home and homeland; In the Company ofAnimals, which examined our contested relation to other animals; Rescue: The Paradoxes of Virtue; Technology and the Rest of Culture; Food: Nature and Culture; Privacy; Altered States of Consciousness; International Justice, War Crimes, and Terrorism; Islam: The Public and Private Spheres; and Fear: Its Political Uses and Abuses. All the material from these conferences have become important issues of the journal. Of course, most issues of Social Research are not conference-based, but they too have covered a wide spectrum of topics, from “Truth-tell­ ing, Lying, and Self Deception,” “Sexuality and Madness,” “Shame,” “Courage,” and “Faces” to “Unemployment,” “Nationalism ,” and “Prospects for Democracy.” We see our broad range of concerns as a reflection of the mission of our parent institution, the Graduate Faculty of the New School, which, from its founding in 1933 as the University in Exile, has defined itself as a place that takes seriously the legacy of America’s progressive thinkers, the University in Exile, and the crit­ ical theorists of Europe; It is, as the Graduate Faculty catalog notes, “grounded in the core social sciences and broadened with a commit­ ment to philosophical and historical inquiry. In an intellectual setting where disciplinary boundaries are easily crossed, students learn to practice creative democracy— the concepts, techniques, and commit­ ments that will be required if the world’s people, with their multiple and conflicting interests, are to live together peacefully and justly.” We, like our parent institution, have always taken seriously our claim to be international. This is clear from our roster of authors, who have come from many places across the globe, and from the subjects of our issues, such as our series on East and Central Europe, initiated in vi social research 1988 before the collapse of the Soviet Union, to which...


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